Australian Literature Book Tag

I spotted this book tag initially as one for books in translation. But after an amazing few months of reading mostly Australian books, I wanted to keep the green and gold momentum going.

To join in though, simply change the country to one of your choosing. It could be your country of origin, where you live now, or a country you’ve always wanted to spend more time in or know more about. Leave your link in the comments below, so I can see where you have visited.

Right now we cannot travel very far in real life, so let’s spread our virtual wings and see where we end up!

An Australian novel you would recommend to everyone: The Yield by Tara June Winch.

Winch’s moving story reminds me once again that Indigenous culture is not a unified whole. And that’s okay. Like every other culture, different groups within that culture want different things. 

A recently read classic Australian novel you enjoyed: The Wild Oats of Han by Katharine Susannah Prichard.

a delightful story of a childhood in retrospect. Written by an adult who is fondly remembering a wild, unstructured childhood growing up on a bush block in late 19th century Launceston.

An Australian book you could not get into: A Room Full of Leaves by Kate Grenville. Sadly I could not engage with this story. Something about the premise bugged me – finding old letters hidden in an attic that reveal the ‘real’ story, blah, blah, blah!

Your most anticipated Australian new release: Liane Moriarty’s September release of Apples Never Fall. The last couple of books have not been as successful for me, but I loved her earlier stories so much, that my hopes are still high and the anticipation is strong.

An Australian author you would love to read more: Gerald Murnane. I read The Plains many years ago and was blown by his imagery and use of language. I want more.

How do you sum up or explain your experience with a book that pushes, exposes and plays around with so many ideas in one compact little piece of speculative writing? Where do you even begin to describe just how profound an effect it has had on you? And how delighted to have a discovered a new-to-me writer with at least another nine books to dive into?

An Australian novel which you consider to be better that the film: All of them! But a movie that i saw before reading the book was Looking For Alibrandi. I adored the movie so much, I read Melina Marchetta’s YA book not long afterwards.

An Australian non-fiction book you recommend: Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs. Wonderful narrative non-fiction about whales.

Giggs was on a personal mission to understand why whales beach themselves. She shares her journey – all the discoveries, the joys and the heartaches – to show us and to remind us how interconnected every living thing is on this planet we all inhabit. 

An Australian book that has been on your TBR for far too long: Resilience by Anne Deveson. First purchased after the death of a dear friend about 15 years ago, it was meant to help me in my grieving process. But the time never felt right to read it. Deveson’s own family story is so full of heartbreak, which only continued after she wrote this book, that I simply cannot bear to pick up this book.

A popular Australian book you have not yet read: The Dry by Jane Harper…and I probably won’t. Rural crime is not my cup of tea.

An Australian book you have heard a lot about and would like to find more about or read: Voss by Patrick White. I tried reading this in my early twenties but failed to get into it. Several people dear to me, rate White as one of their all-time favourite Australian writers and I feel a little guilty that I’ve never tried to read him again.

2 thoughts on “Australian Literature Book Tag

  1. I just recommended Ruth Park’s The Drums Go Bang. Again. So I guess that’s the top of my list. But I also recommend The Pea Pickers a lot. How’s it going? I don’t do memes but it’s fun to read them sometimes. Lianne Moriarty – ugh. Harper – ditto, she’s everywhere. Good on you for Gerald Murnane, I might have read half, so I’ve got a way to go too.

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    1. Now that’s a Ruth Park I haven’t got to yet. I really enjoyed Swords and Crowns and Rings a lot when I read it not long ago, so I must try more.
      I’m still really enjoying The Pea-Pickers – such a different time and way of life – but her vulnerability is killing me!

      I love the Moriarty’s for their easy nature and great character studies. The early ones in particular are a lot of fun and good for those rainy weekends when you need something light. But the last 2 have started to veer off with characters less likeable. Couldn’t finish one and didn’t bother with the latest, after hearing the reviews, but I keep hoping she will return to her more endearing type of before.

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